IEM XI Shanghai: Hydra vs EnDerr
What happens when a champion meets an underdog?

  • Head to Head: N/A
  • Hydra vs. Zerg: 70.35%
  • Hydra Form All: 70.21%
  • Hydra Form vs. Zerg: 93.75%
  • EnDerr vs. Zerg: 63.01%
  • EnDerr Form All: 62.24%
  • EnDerr Form vs. Zerg: 60.98%

What do you get when you add experience, form and tenacity to talent? As long as your ID isn't Neeb, you get the terrifying Zerg opponent that is ROOT Gaming's Hydra.

For EnDerr, a former Brood War player whose offline StarCraft II games represent only five percent of his total, this opponent is a foreboding one - certainly not the fellow Zerg he'd hope to encounter in his first IEM appearance since 2012. However, scoring a victory over Hydra would propel EnDerr into a new position of StarCraft prestige, and he surely knows it.

Hydra excelled as Heart of the Swarm play came to its end in the WCS and was the tournament favorite time and time again throughout 2015. That earlier excitement and faith in Hydra is exactly why a win for EnDerr would trigger a meteoric rise, even though Hydra's days of excellence are seemingly over for now.

Hydra just hasn't been nearly as dominant this year. He lost vs. Neeb twice in a row and fell to Snute at Katowice. However, he did take home a DreamHack trophy in Austin, and he made it to the semifinals in the Winter Circuit. Plus, with a 70% win rate, ZvZ is Hydra's key matchup; he's been known to brutalize. But a recent drop in results and the cushion of preparation time EnDerr has had as Hydra traveled to Valencia might mean it's the perfect time for the underdog to strike.

Like many players, EnDerr admittedly gets nervous. When asked about specific reasons for those nerves, EnDerr told x5.Crescendo, "There's none. It's kinda random and it happens always in every first match on a tournament."

Let's hope for the sake of the games that he can hold his nerves as he did in recent qualifiers when he took wins off NXZ, a rising SEA region player, and PiG, the clear favorite. If the Filipino player can practice ZvZ religiously, he may be able to pull off the biggest upset we've seen in a long time by toppling Hydra.

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Article by: Karin Krisher